Robert Harold Fisher Jr.
Robert H. Fisher Jr. was born and raised in the Bronx, New York on October 31, 1922 to Robert and Ruth Fisher. He had two younger sisters, Eileen and Doris, and a younger brother, Donald. Like many boys of his generation, he answered Uncle Sam's call and volunteered to serve in the Army Air Force on 11 September 1942.
One of his first stops in training was Buckingham Field in Ft. Myers, Florida. Here he attended flexible gunnery school, which was the first step to his Army Air Force career as an aerial gunner. He then completed radio operator school in Salt Lake City, Utah. The radio skills gained in Salt Lake City would allow Robert to serve not only as gunner, but also as assistant radio operator on his yet to be formed bomber crew.
His first introduction to heavy bombers was at Davis-Monthan Army Airfield in Tucson, Arizona. This is where he and his nine other crewmembers began training at their positions in a B-24 Liberator. His final stop stateside was at Herington, Kansas where the crew of ten would then begin the journey over the North Atlantic to Station 104 which was an army air base in Hardwick, England. This was the home of the 93rd Bomb Group. The bomb group consisted of four squadrons of Liberators, and Robert Jr. and his crew were assigned to the 328th Bomb Squadron.
Upon arriving at Hardwick, many of the veteran crews would have been on temporary detachment to Libya. Operating out of Benghazi, the 93rd participated in Operation Tidal Wave, which was a low level attack on Nazi oil fields in Ploesti, Romania on August 1st. During this time, Robert's crew was most likely training at Hardwick in order to be ready to replace the crews that would likely never make it back from the Ploesti raid. A letter written by the mother of the crew's pilot, 2nd Lt. Roger W. Hayes, suggests that the crew may have joined the 93rd in Libya for about two weeks in late August of 1943. In early, September, Robert along with the rest of the 93rd Bomb Group, returned to their home base at Hardwick.
The Ploesti raid on August 1, 1943
Mission records received from the National Archives show that Robert entered combat on October 10th. The group flew a diversion for B-17 groups bombing the city center of Munster, Germany. Robert and his crew had to turnback on this mission when the oxygen system indicated that O2 levels for the top turret and tail gun were running dangerously low and would soon be insufficient for high altitude flight. Robert, his crew, and the rest of the 93rd Bomb Group would launch again on October 14th, 1943 to hit the Nazi ball bearing factories in Schweinfurt, Germany. Due to weather and many turnbacks, the group had fewer bombers in the formation than planned. The 93rd group leader decided to alter the plan and flew a diversion to Emden instead of bombing Schweinfurt . October 14th would become known as Black Thursday, as over 60 bombers failed to return. There were over 600 empty bunks in bases all over England that night. A sobering day for a rookie crew on their second mission.
Robert and his crew would return to the skies 4 days later on 18 October 1943. This would be the final mission for the 10 man crew. The 93rd Bomb Group was to fly a diversion with the objective of drawing enemy fighters away from two divisions of B-17's tasked with bombing Duren, Germany . Cloud cover made assembly difficult and prevented the bombers of the 93rd bomb group from flying the planned flight plan. Robert's B-24 bomber "Shoot Luke" was attacked by German fighters over the North Sea and was last seen diving for a cloud bank. None of the airmen of the 93rd Bomb Group who returned from the mission saw Shoot Luke emerge from the clouds. Robert, his crew, and the B-24 "Shoot Luke" still rest on the bottom of the North Sea and are to this day considered Missing in Action.
Robert and his nine other crew members were posthumously awarded an Air Medal* and a Purple Heart.
*(Bombardier Lieutenant Gregory Bournazos had already been awarded an Air Medal with an Oak Leak Cluster for sinking a German U-boat off the New England Coast earlier in the war).
Upon hearing the news that his son was missing, Robert Fisher Sr. reenlisted in the US Navy.
Photos of Robert
Robert's Mission List
10 October 1943
14 October 1943
18 October 1943
Diversion for B-17's attacking Munster
Ball-bearing factory in Schweinfurt
Diversion for B-17's attacking Duren
192-A Dogpatch Raiders
729-D Shoot Luke
Turnback (O2 system failure)
Became a diversion
Missing in Action - Likely shot down
Below are mission summaries for Robert's 3 sorties. The excerpt is taken from the 93rd Bomb Group Monthly Records kept at the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB.
Loading lists for all missions flown by the 328th Squadron in 1942 and 1943 can be found on the Documents and Media page.
Robert H. Fisher Jr.
2294 Grand Avenue
Bronx, New York 10468
2294 Grand Avenue
Bronx, New York 10468
Last Known Location